A judge has set dates to start two separate trials against the Zimbabwe LGBT activists arrested last month.

According to Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), the charges against Ignatius Mhambi and Ellen Chademana have been split between them, which means that they will be tried separately.

Mhambi will be tried on a charge of possession of a pornographic DVD while Chademana will face general charges of possession of pornographic material.

Mhambi’s trial will begin on the 30th of June and Chademana’s case will be heard on the 1st of July.

Mhambi (38) and Chademana (34) were arrested on May 21 for alleged possession of pornography in a raid on the GALZ offices in Harare.

They were subsequently also charged with “undermining the authority of the President” but it is unclear if this charge will be pursued in the case against them.

Human rights groups say that the arrests were a politically motivated attempt to harass the LGBT community in Zimbabwe.

Chademana and Mhambi are currently out on bail and must report twice a week to the CID Drugs Section at Harare Central Police Station.

They have also surrendered their passports and may not travel more than 40 kilometres outside Harare without the authority of the investigating officer.

GALZ, the only organisation of its kind in the country, provides critical HIV/AIDS and psychological support and services to the LGBT community in Zimbabwe.

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